Favorite athlete: Odell Beckham Jr.
Favorite team: Eagles
Favorite memory competing in sports: Going to the Pop Warner Super Bowl and taking third in the nation when I was 10 years old.
Most embarrassing/funniest thing that has happened while competing in sports: During a game my friend picked up a fumble and ran it to the other end zone thinking he scored.
Music on mobile device: Rap and Hip Hop
Future plans: Play football at the college level and major in Athletic Training.
Words to live by: “Play each game like it’s your last.”
One goal before turning 30: To have a nice career in Athletic Training
One thing people don’t know about me: I did gymnastics when I was about 3-4 years old
By Mary Jane Souder
Tim Shevlin – as a youngster who was passionate about football - was awestruck by the play of Odell Beckham Jr. The Quakertown senior was hardly alone. Every youngster aspired to emulate the New York Giants wide receiver who wowed the world with his acrobatic catches.
“He definitely is a big inspiration in the receiving game just because of the way he plays,” said Shevlin. “When I was younger and when he made that amazing catch that went around the world, I had always been outside with kids that I’m playing football with now, throwing the ball, catching the ball one-handed or just making the crazy sideline catches on the curb outside in front of the house.”
Shevlin wasn’t looking to take any of those crazy catches to playing field.
“Whenever I’m at practice and in a game, I always try to go for two-handed catches because it’s most secure,” he said.
That’s not to say Shevlin won’t pull out one of those highlight reel catches when the situation dictates. Coach George Banas recalls a catch his senior wideout made this summer at Souderton during a 7-on-7.
“I know it was only 7-on-7, but he made a catch down there against Saucon Valley, twisting backwards and just stuck it one handed, almost like an Odell Beckham Jr. type catch,” the Panthers’ coach said. “Even the other team was like, ‘Oh my god.’ Everybody clapped.”
“For me, it wasn’t that big of a deal because I’ve made cooler catches, but it had just been at my friend’s house or something,” Shevlin said. “At the same time, I also looked at it – did I really just catch that ball? It’s a two-way street.”
This fall, Shevlin has been a go-to receiver for the Panthers.
“He was really our big deep threat last year and really came onto the scene last year as a junior,” Banas said. “Coming into this year, we thought - we know we have a real solid X, which is the position he plays for us, so we knew we had to complement him on the other side of the ball with our Y and our Z receivers and try and get him good matchups.
“I’ll be honest, even if we don’t give him good matchups, we’re still not afraid to take a shot with him. As long as you put the ball in his vicinity, we have a good chance of him coming down with it.”
As good a receiver as Shevlin is – and he’s a good one, listening to Banas tell it – he’s an even better person.
“He’s that boy next door type of kid,” the Panthers’ coach said. “He really is. He’s that real wholesome, nice kid, well-rounded, great family.
“He’s a kid you really wouldn’t mind if your daughter was dating him. You know he’s going to be a gentleman, he’s gong to hold the door open, he’s going to pay for the date, the whole nine yards. That’s how he comes across. Super, super nice. Always, yes sir, no sir. Yes ma’am, no ma’am. Please, thank you. Just ultra polite, and he’s a real good student. He’s involved in everything.”
It’s hardly a surprise that Shevlin was named a captain.
“He leads by example and he speaks when he needs to,” Banas said. “He’s not the rah, rah, but he’ll have his say in the huddles when we get together as a team when it’s his opportunity to talk and to try to get the guys excited.
“He leads by example on the field. Even though he might be hurt a little bit, he’ll still run sprints and do different things when some other guys might just bag it and take the easy road and not run.”
Shevlin got his first taste of organized sports when he began playing soccer at age four. A year later, football entered the picture, and he was hooked.
“Football is much more of a team atmosphere,” Shevlin said. “The physicality is definitely a big part of it.
“I enjoyed playing soccer, but for me, it was more – I like to play football and be physical. It was a sport that just really meant something to me.”
Through seventh grade, Shevlin played on the offensive line. The next three years, he played running back, slot receiver and, in 10th grade, defense for the junior varsity.
As a junior, Shevlin found a home at wide receiver.
“We saw glimpses last year - we knew we had a really good wideout,” said Banas. “We thought he was a possession type kid, and as the season went on, he just kept making big play after big play for us and really was our go-to guy even last year.
“He had some back issues that hindered him a little bit, but he fought through it the entire season, to his credit.”
This year a healthy Shevlin has been a handful for opposing defenses. It was the senior captain’s acrobatic leaping touchdown grab in the back of the end zone and ensuing catch on the two-point conversion that gave the Panthers momentum heading into halftime in a key game against Hatboro-Horsham.
The highlight reel touchdown catch with .3 seconds remaining in the first half trimmed a seemingly insurmountable 20-3 deficit to 20-11. The Panthers came back to earn the win.
“It was definitely out of the ordinary,” Shevlin said of the play that was the game changer. “It was kind of a Hail Mary. When I caught the ball, it was in the back of the end zone with two kids on me, and there was .3 seconds on the clock.
“We were running a post corner, and we were trying to throw to the corner because we felt the cornerback would stay on me, and we would just open up the corner for an easy one, but they played it the way they were supposed to. I was waving my hand in the back of the end zone. (Quarterback Brad Bryan) put it in a tremendous spot. It was an incredible throw.”
A throw made more remarkable by Shevlin’s incredible catch, a catch that sparked a comeback and kept the Panthers atop the SOL American Conference standings.
“We knew we had a lot of returners coming back this year, so coach Banas had some very high expectations for us,” Shevlin said. “He knew we had potential, and that’s the key word he used. Basically, how he said it is – you guys have to work for it.”
The senior captain has helped to set the tone for this year’s squad.
“There are kids that go into the locker room at halftime and before games that are shot out of a cannon, screaming and yelling,” Shevlin said. “I like to just sit there and keep my mind focused on what’s going on. I do talk before the game to the team, but our other captain, Nick Levinski, is more of our verbal leader. I just like to lead by example.”
Shevlin, who also plays cornerback on passing downs, is hoping to continue his career at the collegiate level.
“I’m waiting towards the end of the season to see what coaches want to talk to me and view my options,” he said.
A priority when it comes to choosing a college will be finding a school that allows him to pursue a career as an athletic trainer.
“It would definitely be school first and football would be a bonus,” said Shevlin, an excellent student who is enrolled in honors classes and also volunteers his time with his football team for various community functions.
Shevlin places a high value on his family and credits his parents, Brianna and Tim Shevlin, for their support. He remains close to his sister, Brianna, who is away at college.
“She cheered for the football team all four years,” Shevlin said. “She was basically the introduction to Quakertown football, and then they finally got their son up there who actually plays.”
Shevlin is savoring every single moment as his high school career winds down.
“Each day it’s one day closer to being over,” he said. “We’re halfway through the season right now, and it feels like we just started in the summertime.
“You learn to love each day, you learn to love going to practice, you love moments with the team. Every single game you just want to stay in the locker room and hang out and dance or celebrate. You don’t want to take it all for granted because basically when Thanksgiving comes it might be all over.”